“Eindhoven is getting fuller and fuller, so we are always looking for more space. On the one hand, there is a clear need for more housebuilding, but on the other, the city must retain a certain quality of life. This is not only a challenge for Eindhoven, it’s a dilemma which the Netherlands as a whole is facing. When it comes to high-rise housing construction, waste issues tend to be an afterthought,” says Thijs Martin, project manager at Eindhoven’s waste management contractor, Cure. “Identifying which waste-collection solution is the best in new and existing situations is part of my day-to-day work. Sidcon’s compactors help towards this because they give us increased capacity.”
For high-rise buildings, municipal policy is aimed at waste being collected as much as possible underground. For low-rise buildings, mini-containers are used. Some plastic, metal and drink packaging waste is collected centrally, by preference in underground containers and compactors. There is now talk of paper and cardboard packaging being collected in the same way. Cure Afvalbeheer is a collaboration between the municipalities of Eindhoven, Geldrop-Mierlo and Valkenswaard.
Society is changing and so to is Cure Afvalbeheer, Thijs Martin explains. “Over the last five years, policy has been evolving. Our approach has become much more holistic. We no longer just plonk a 1100 litre container in a neighbourhood. More and more we are looking at what’s being thrown away, the needs of residents, the workload of our staff and the equipment for waste collection. We analyse routes and identify what other waste collection resources exist in the surrounding. All this analysis should result in the best solution. In addition, Cure Afvalbeheer aims to minimise the number of its vehicles in order to improve carbon emissions and increase road safety.
For instance, two years ago we introduced the concept of ‘dynamic collection’, where standard waste containers are used alongside Sidcon compactors at all locations. This is possible thanks to current technology, since all containers come with a fill-level sensor and this information is fed into our central system. This gives us instant data on fill levels in the standard waste containers and Sidcon’s compactors. This system helps us plan our collection routes from day-to-day. Monitoring and fine-tuning fill levels and routes is an ongoing process. Dynamic collections pays, because we have seen the number of collections diminish significantly since we started.
We are also using more and more of Sidcon’s compactors too. These are a particular advantage in high-rise neighbourhoods. Where there are 100 to 150 connections, it is more viable to install a compactor. Not only does it give us cost-savings, but reduced collections and more space too. In particular, the fact we need fewer journeys is great, since that means we need less equipment and we reduce road traffic and harm to the environment. Architects are happy too, because only two or three compactors need to be installed rather than ten to fifteen. What’s more, we make savings when purchasing and in maintaining our fleet of vehicles.
We have been working successfully with Sidcon for many years. We think of the relationship between supplier and customer as more of a partnership. Sidcon delivers on its promises and supplies high-quality products. They listen to our needs and come up with innovative solutions. The compactor really is a godsend: we need fewer journeys and less space, which is both financially and environmentally beneficial.